Only 3 percent of workers in the informal sector contribute to the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), data from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has revealed.
Again, less than 1 percent of the 232,960 pensioners receiving monthly pensions are self-employed, indicating that over the years, very few workers in the informal sector have signed on to the SSNIT Scheme or any other private scheme, a situation that casts a gloomy picture for the future of these workers.
It is for this reason that SSNIT Mobile Service Week was launched to woo players in the informal sector to enroll unto the scheme in order to secure their future after retirement.
The Mobile Service Week affords stakeholders who may be too busy to visit the branches or remember to use the Trust’s online platforms the opportunity to transact business with the organization at their convenience.
This year’s event was held under the theme: “Retirement Security for the Self –Employed: Join SSNIT Today as a Voluntary Contributor”. It brought together stakeholders from the formal and the informal sectors to grace the occasion with emphasis on the latter.
The SSNIT Mobile Service is an annual event where SSNIT officers move from their regular office settings to pitch camp at vantage locations across their operational areas to bring its services closer to their members and clients.
Speaking at the ceremony in Tamale, the Director-General of SSNIT, Dr. John Ofori-Tenkorang said the organization embarked on the event to educate the public on their roles and the need to ensure they register with SSNIT to enjoy their future benefits.
“The SSNIT Scheme is the only insurance scheme in Ghana that pays for life every worker, irrespective of the sector or the nature of their work, and so, we encourage workers, especially the self-employed, to join the SSNIT Scheme as voluntary contributors,” he said.
He added that there is a need for employers to ensure that every worker they hire is registered with the SSNIT Scheme for a better future.
Dr. Tenkorang further revealed that SSNIT, in its commitment, has paid benefits amounting to GH¢3.3 billion and GH¢250 million to some 233,000 pensioners in August 2021 alone.
“Some 1,500(1,484) invalid persons (pensioners) are living financially independent lives because they joined the SSNIT Scheme. In July alone, a total of GH¢S1.66 million was paid to these invalid pensioners of which some of them are as young as 30,” he said.
Touching on the informal sector
“If you are a spare parts dealer, retailer, carpenter, business men and women, or second-hand clothes seller, know that you will one day become old and you cannot continue doing what you are doing. That is why we are inviting you to join the SSNIT Scheme today, so that you can close that shop one day and enjoy a restful old age, whilst SSNIT supports you financially for the rest of your life,” he said.
He said, in the unlikely event that one is not able to pay the premium for the required minimum of 15 years before retiring at 60 years, all he/she has contributed plus interest will be paid as a one-time lump sum.
“What you are required to pay represents 13.5% of the assumed salary you give to yourself. What you will receive as a pensioner largely depends on the amounts you pay and how long you do so. If you pay more, you will get more. Talk to any of our staff at a mobile service location or SSNIT branch near you” he said.